Can You Buy Soda with EBT? What You Need To Know

Soda is a popular drink in the United States, and many wonder if it can be bought with EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards. The USDA confirms that sweetened beverages like soda can be purchased with EBT cards, but not all types of soda qualify. There are specific guidelines and restrictions when using EBT cards for food and drink purchases. Understanding these rules helps maximize SNAP benefits and ensures they are used properly.

Purchasing Soda with EBT

The rules for using EBT benefits vary by state, but soda is generally eligible for purchase everywhere. However, some states like California have specific restrictions; in California, soda can only be bought with EBT if it comes in containers larger than 16 ounces.

Soda as a SNAP-Eligible Item

The USDA reports that sweetened beverages, including soda, are popular among SNAP users, though this has faced some criticism. Despite being a SNAP-eligible item, soda is not the healthiest option, and EBT users are encouraged to choose healthier foods whenever possible.

How to Use EBT for Soda Purchase

To buy soda with an EBT card, first, check your balance online or by calling the number on the card. Then, visit a retailer that accepts EBT, such as major grocery stores, supermarkets, or some convenience stores and gas stations.

EBT Transaction Process

Using an EBT card to buy soda is like using a debit card. Swipe the card at the retailer’s point of sale (POS) machine, select “EBT” as the payment option, and enter your four-digit PIN to complete the transaction. You will get a receipt showing the deducted amount.

Remember, not all types of soda may be eligible for purchase with EBT. Check your state’s EBT program guidelines for any restrictions before buying.

Alternatives to Soda on EBT

For those who are looking for alternatives to soda that can be purchased with EBT benefits, there are many options available. Some examples include:

  • 100% fruit juice: This can be a great alternative to soda, as it provides important vitamins and minerals without the added sugars found in many sodas.
  • Milk: Milk is another healthy beverage option that can be purchased with EBT benefits. It provides important nutrients like calcium and vitamin D.
  • Water: Water is always a healthy and refreshing beverage option that can be purchased with EBT benefits.

By choosing healthier beverage options, individuals can use their EBT benefits to support their health and well-being while still enjoying a variety of beverage options.

To learn more about the range of items you can purchase with an EBT card please refer to our comprehensive guide ‘What You Can Buy with EBT’. This guide offers valuable insights into the types of products eligible for EBT purchases.

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